Community group calling for new bus services in Vancouver's Fraserview area

Jul 30 2019, 5:02 am

A community group led by NDP Vancouver-Fraserview MLA George Chow is requesting TransLink roll out new and improved services within the southeast quadrant of the city of Vancouver.

Earlier today, Chow released the report of his Transit Working Group, which is based on the results of an online survey and verbal feedback at community events.

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“Overall, more than half the constituents who answered the survey take transportation multiple times a week,” he wrote.

“The residents of the Vancouver-Fraserview value and use public transit at a very high rate and want their transit services expanded and more efficient services. The results highlight an opportunity to create tangible improvements and effectiveness to satisfy the needs of Vancouver-Fraserview residents.”

He is recommending a trio of improvements, including the”urgent priority” of a new north-south bus route between the new River District redevelopment and SkyTrain’s Expo Line — either 29th Avenue Station or Joyce-Collingwood Station. Such a route could travel along Kerr Street or Matheson Crescent.

Alternatively, the existing No. 29 bus route from 29th Avenue Station could be improved with increased frequencies and a route extension that reaches River District.

There is increasingly a need for improved transit services that serve the growing River District. When fully complete, the 130-acre redevelopment will entail over seven million sq. ft. of living space for up to 15,000 residents, as well as 250,000 sq. ft. of commercial space, 25 acres of green space, riverfront promenades, and new schools and community facilities.

A second bus service improvement requested by the group entails a less circuitous route for the No. 26 Joyce Station/29th Avenue Station, with increased frequencies on weekends and evenings that allow for an easier connection to Champlain Mall from the No. 49. A reroute of the No. 26 away from Arlington Street, which has speed bumps, is also suggested to create a more comfortable ride experience.

Additionally, Chow wants to see TransLink address the lost bus service to the residents living in the area of East 54th Avenue, following the removal of the No. 49 diversion. Three years ago, the No. 49 discontinued its detour route through East 4th Avenue to serve Champlain Mall, and instead was rerouted along 49th Avenue to provide a direct, straight route through the area.

TransLink previously reasoned that 95% of riders do not get off in the diversion segment of the route, resulting in longer travel times of five minutes for the vast majority of riders.

Chow is holding an open house on the neighbourhood transit improvements at River District Neighbourhood Centre (8683 Kerr Street) on Tuesday, July 30 from 6 to 8 pm.

The public transit authority is also currently in the process of intaking public feedback for Transport 2050 — the creation of a new 30-year strategy on improving and expanding transportation in the region.

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